Posted on March 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Finding a signal amidst the climate noise isn’t easy
Does La Niña increase the odds of tornadoes?
Study finds links between ENSO and tornado frequency in the Southern U.S. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — Teasing out a link between large-scale atmospheric patterns and specific weather events isn’t easy against the backdrop of natural variability.
But a new study of the El Niño-La Niña cycle in the Pacific Ocean suggests that La Niña — the cool phase of the cycle — increases the frequency of tornadoes and hail storms in some of the most susceptible regions of the United States.
During La Niña, both vertical wind shear and surface warmth and moisture increase significantly in the southern states, making conditions favorable to severe storm occurrence.
The study, published in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, may help provide more information for medium- and long-range extreme weather forecasts. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, El Nino, ENSO, extreme weather, La Niña, tornadoes | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Impacts unclear, though Gulf Coast could see rain surplus
NOAA’s El Niño map shows widespread above-average sea surface temperatures.
FRISCO — A long overdue El Niño once anticipated as a potential drought-buster for California has emerged, but may not have a huge impact on North American weather.
Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center made the announcement this week after measuring ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific. Those temps have been running above average for several months but just now crossed the El Niño threshold. the climate experts said in their monthly outlook. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño | Tagged: California drought, climate, El Nino, NOAA, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Will global warming intensify extreme weather swings?
How will climate change affect ENSO?
FRISCO — Global warming could increase the frequency of extreme La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean, with more droughts in southwestern United States, floods in the western Pacific regions and increased Atlantic hurricane activity.
The international study, published in Nature Climate Change, used advanced modeling to show how increased land-area heating, combined with more frequent El Niños, will feed a cycle of extreme La Niñas. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate science, El Nino, ENSO, extreme weather, global warming, La Niña | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Last week’s Pacific storm dropped near-record rain
The video was created by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
FRISCO — A weekend storm rolling into Colorado won’t have a direct pineapple connection, but if the powder does pile up, it will be due to a big stream of moisture from the subtropical Pacific ocean that is wrapped into the approaching weather front.
As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described in a press release, the ‘Pineapple Express’’ happens when warm air and lots of moisture are transported from the Central Pacific, near Hawaii, to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The above animation of satellite imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite showed the stream of clouds associated with that moisture from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, 2014 and brought rain and snow to the western U.S. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather | Tagged: California drought, climate, El Nino, extreme weather | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
2014 goes into the books one of the most active Pacific hurricane seasons on record
Hurricane Odile off Mexico: At about 10:45 p.m. local time on September 14, 2014, Hurricane Odile made landfall near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Odile arrived with wind speeds of 110 knots (204 kilometers or 127 miles per hour). The storm tied Olivia (1967) as the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the state of Baja California Sur in the satellite era. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — As a giant pump that redistributes global heat, it’s no surprise that El Niño affects the formation and timing of hurricanes. In general, meteorologists see that El Niño conditions sometimes suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic. But less is known about how the cyclical surges of warm water at the equator affect Pacific hurricanes.
A new study suggests there may a delayed reaction, with peak hurricane in the northeastern Pacific happening two or three years after an El Niño peak. The climate researchers with the University of Hawai’i School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, National Taiwan University uncovered an oceanic pathway that brings El Niño’s heat into the Northeastern Pacific to directly fuel intense hurricanes in that region. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, East Pacific hurricanes, El Nino, Tropical cyclones | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Pacific Ocean is cooking, even without El Niño
NOAA Sea Surface Temperature anomaly (with respect to period 1854-2013) averaged over global oceans (red) and over North Pacific (0-60oN, 110oE-100oW) (cyan). September 2014 temperatures broke the record for both global and North Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures. b) Sea Surface Temperature anomaly of September 2014 from NOAA’s ERSST dataset.
Credit: Axel Timmermann.
FRISCO — Global ocean temperatures have soared to the highest level in recorded history this year, and the rate of warming has accelerated since April, according to scientists with the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
“This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded since their systematic measuring started,” said Axel Timmermann, a climate scientist at the university’s International Pacific Research Center. “Temperatures even exceed those of the record-breaking 1998 El Niño year,” Timmermann said, adding that the new data analysis shows that the global warming pause, if there was one, is over.
“The 2014 global ocean warming is mostly due to the North Pacific, which has warmed far beyond any recorded value,” he said, adding that the temperature trend in the Pacific has shifted hurricane tracks, weakened trade winds, and bleached corals around the Hawaiian Islands. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, El Nino, global warming, record ocean temperatures | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 16, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The southern U.S., including parts of drought-hit Arizona, may see above-average precipitation this winter.
Climate experts say there’s good chance of average precipitation in California, but recovery will take a while
FRISCO — There may be some drought relief for California this winter, but the state won’t make up a huge moisture deficit in just one rainy season, federal climate scientists said this week, releasing their winter season outlook.
“Complete drought recovery in California this winter is highly unlikely,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.”While we’re predicting at least a 2 in 3 chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout the state, with such widespread, extreme deficits, recovery will be slow,” Halpert added. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Drought, El Niño | Tagged: California drought, climate, El Nino, winter weather outlook | Leave a comment »